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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Current

Fracking fashionistas

Infographic/Photo Essay - August 05, 2013 by Krista Langlois

Oil and gas workers once had few options for on-the-job fashion: standard street wear or heavy-duty firefighting gear. Flame-retardant clothing was bulky, expensive and hot, but the alternative -- jeans and T-shirts -- proved dangerous in environments where explosions and fires can be all in a day's work.

In 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came up with new clothing regulations for the industry. Some outraged companies considered suing, claiming the discomfort of fire-retardant clothing actually made work more hazardous. But since then, manufacturers have created lighter, more breathable options -- in more fashionable styles, too.

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